Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Train Has Arrived in Belmar

A process that started last summer with a proposal to create a mural for the train station in Belmar finally reached fruition today.  We spent several hours celebrating art and the railroad and Belmar, with a whole lot of people participating.

It was a beautiful sunny afternoon in a year that hasn't seen enough of those yet, so people were all around town.  It was the preview day for the 2014 Belmar Art Walk, so all afternoon we had visitors dropping by the Boatworks looking for art and for information about how to find more art.  However, the crowd grew rapidly as 3:00 approached, scheduled time for the day's first special event, a talk about the history of the railroad in Belmar.

One of our scheduled speakers couldn't make it, but Tom Gallo was able to handle the whole thing himself, with the aid of notes from our missing speaker.  It was standing room only, with visitors filling every folding chair we had.  He had a lot of interesting facts about the history of the railroad in Belmar, and in New Jersey in general.  It was all very interesting, and I think the audience would have been happy to hear it continue, but we had to call time so everyone would be able to get to our 4:00 event, the dedication of the new mural at the train station.

There had been some predictions of rain coming in during the late afternoon, but luckily the weather held and we were able to get in the dedication ceremony on the train station platform.  Above, artist Delia King is accompanied by Danielle Acerra of ArtHelps and the Monmouth County Arts Council, Sal Marchese of the Belmar Business Partnership, Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, Belmar Councilwoman (and BelmarArts Trustee) Jennifer Nicolay, Councilwoman Janice Keown-Blackburn, Pat Hutchinson, Marilyn Baldi, and others in front of just a tiny piece of the whole mural.  (photo courtesy of Steve Lacko)  ArtHelps and the Belmar Business Partnership provided funding for the train station mural.  If you missed the dedication, don't worry, you can stop by the train station any time you want and see the giant bright colorful painting for yourself.

After the mural ceremony was finished, everyone quickly made their way back to the Boatworks for the opening reception for our Belmar and the Railroad show.  The crowd was there well before our scheduled 5:00 start time, but you can't keep a good party down.  We had a wide variety of refreshment provided by both our artist members and members of the Belmar Historical Society, which had proposed this show and had arranged for the earlier talk.

As always, most eventually gathered in the back, where the tables and refreshments are, and for the duration of this show, a reproduction of the new train station mural, at least as it looked a few weeks ago.

The Belmar and the Railroad show remains open through Friday, May 2 during regular gallery hours, which will include being open tomorrow from 11 to 6 as part of the Belmar Art Walk.  Admission is free.

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